TN Le Beaujolais Cru est arrive!

3rd Thursday of November aka Beaujolais Nouveau.

I love this day as it's a good reason to uncork Beaujolais. I don't follow the craziness of Nouveau and advise you to stay away from this commercial toxic drink. Choose fine Beaujolais Cru instead.

This is what we did yesterday and focused on Moulin à vent only.

2018 Mee Godard Les Michelons
Good address for serious Beaujolais in Burgundian style. It was very youthful indeed, but huge potential sensed right away. Purple color, violets on the nose, touch of oak. Seek for wines with some bottle age.
90+

2017 Château des Bachelards
Bordeaux shaped bottles. Long elevage. Certified biodynamics.
This wine is all about the greatness of the fruit. So ripe and fragrant. Healthy vines and optimal harvesting. Wine doesn't overwhelm with variety of aromas and flavours but strikes with its depth and precision. Concentration of fruit wrapped in violets.
90+

2016 Domaine Jean-Paul Dubost
This is natural wine made with carbonic maceration. It makes it lighter in style with wide spectrum of berries, flowers and spices. Full of everything in bright summer colours. Optimal balance of all the elements. Good grip of tannins, lightweight. Cheerful and graceful wine. Instant pleasure, no need to age.
92

2015 Domaine Labruyere Champ de Cour
Destemmed, Burgundian elevage. Comes from clay rich site. Dense and concentrated with fuller body. Pommard with accentuated fruit.
89+

2014 Domaine de Rochegrès (Albert Bichot) Magnum
Pale in color and pale on the palate. Lacks the concentration. Easy regional Bourgogne style.
87

2012 Château des Jacques (Louis Jadot) La Rochelle
The most Burgundian of all. WOTN. Yes, it has loads of oak, but it perfectly suits the wine. It's not heavy vanilla, but elegant and in unison with all other elements. Pure and perfume which takes you to the top sites of Cot d'Or. Peak maturity now. Splendid wine!
93

2008 Domaine Labruyere Le Clos Monopole
The most mineral of all wines tonight. Granite parcel just below the Moulin. Minerality in the inorganic sense. Some tar, fur. And good fruit. Rose petal - red and floral. Oak is well integrated and is not evident. Fine Burgundian style. Cold and elegant as some of Cote de Nuits, but fruit is more persistent. Acidity is prominent.
91

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I have always liked Beaujolais Nouveau, and the best producers make delicious examples which this year seem impossible to find!

I will appreciate if you point at some producers of Beaujolais Nouveau you would recommend. To be honest, I am quite pessimistic as these wines are they synonym of poor quality even toxic drinks to me.'
Often harvested under ripe from the potato fields with loads of pesticides and other chemicals to boost high yields. Full carbonic maceration, chaptalised rapid fermentation, tons of sulphites to anti oxidize and disinfect wines, stabilise the process and kill any bacteria. Rigorous fining and sterile filtering, etc. Dead product which doesn't have the identity of the place nor of the grape variety. Bubble gum with banana flavour.
 
Nonsense. There is of course plenty of rubbish but many of the very best producers make a delicious new wine.
Can you be more specific, please?
This is definitely a matter of taste and individual preferences, but I just don't understand what kind of magic one could do to produce a delicious wine that is bottled and available to the consumer just a few weeks after the harvest.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
Yep, sorry, but I'm afraid that opinion of Nouveau is one that few here will agree with, and even fewer will respect. Let's have your take on German Riesling next!
 
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We’ve not drunk Beaujolais Nouveau for many years - until this year. I received an email from Andrew & Emma Nielsen last weekend, offering a bagnum of du Grappin’s Beaujolais-Villages nouveau along with four bottles of their Beaujolais-Villages and Crus from 2018/19 and I thought “why not”? It seemed like a good way to brighten up these “unprecedented times”. Sure enough, it’s proven to be a lovely, joyful drink.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
There's a lot of crap Nouveau around, though I am not sure we see so many of the really poor ones. But Grappin, Georges Dubeouf, Jean Loron, Burgaud, etc., etc. would be turning in their graves (if they were dead) at the over-the-top and inaccurate rubbishing of an entire category in post #3 of this thread. Good producers of Beaujolais who make Nouveau, make good Nouveau.
 
As a maker of what I think are serious Cru and Villages wines, I also thoroughly enjoy making Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau (from Blacé) because, to achieve a level of serious fun and pleasure, means taking a very different approach to its wine-making. Besides this, my outfit has been importing it for many, many years. We sell (in advance) every bottle that we bring in but this year, we expected to be in a bit of trouble as all our on-trade customers are closed. :( However, we sold out as the West Country's farm shops and local wine merchants increased their sales due to the effort they put in with their own customers. :) Furthermore, the increase of private sales was amazing... there seemed a genuine desire to have a good time at this difficult moment.
 
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I apologise for my hyperbole in #3 post.

However, I have searched the forum and I don't find any posts in many years that preach up Beaujolais Nouveau. So it looks like a top secret to me.
I am glad to see you standing up against my exaggerated notion of Beaujolais Nouveau. And yes, it seems I do need a decent Beaujolais Nouveau tasting... If you kindly point at some fine examples, I will try my best to find and taste them. I respect the efforts Bill Nanson puts in covering the region and I have been long time the reader of the burgundy-report.com
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
W

Not the whole post but the overall sentiment.
In my opinion, life’s too short for Bojo Nouveau.

Mark, I don't buy Beaujolais Nouveau - I probably bought one or two some time in the 80s, but it's not a wine I would spend money on personally.

I do taste a fair number of samples each year, so do manage to keep up with it a bit. But I disagree almost entirely with post #3.
 
Stas,
Most importantly you have to differentiate between the anonymous supermarket bottles of BJN and grower bottles where occasionally you will have wines that can stand undiminished next to the crus. With the former, your characterisation would not be without merit. Indeed reformulated I would completely agree that historically BJN has been, commercially, a toxic drink for the region, no matter how many fortunes were made in the 1970s, 1980s and partly the 1990s...
Some of the larger 'houses' also produce great wines - such as Trenel or Loron - sometimes from their own vineyards too.
You also need to know whether you're dealing with Beaujolais Nouveau or Beaujolais Villages Nouveau - the later more concentrated and structured - these will easily last you 5 years, and in good shape in a vintage like 2020.
Lastly, in another place, I tasted 162 wines in one day this year. In this 2020 vintage many, many were simply excellent, and I made a list of 21 simply great wines, Google and the search term 2020 Beaujolais Nouveau Report will get you there...
Bestest...
 
Dear Bill,

Thank you for taking the time to explain. I do appreciate that as it is very helpful, indeed.

I agree with most part of what you've said. I am very well aware of the appellation rules and of course I distinguish between the Village Nouveau and the ordinary Beaujolais Nouveau. I am glad you haven't touched on Beaujolais Superieur which falls not too far from the Beaujolais Nouveau.

I must admit, I haven't come across decent BNs, so will follow you advice and hunt for a few from your list. I am always happy to discover new names and gain new experience. I have been a long time subscriber to your website and of course have read your 2020 review. Moreover Thom Blach kindly shared the link to it in the post above.

I just translated the image that the region can't get rid off. And the growers your refer to remain the drop in the ocean. Sad but true. And I won't speculate with German Riesling as Tom suggests. There is endless list of great names that have been around over a century as well as hundreds of winemakers that produce impressive wines. Unfortunately, Beaujolais isn't even close to the glory of German Riesling. Luckily, at least Beaujolais Crus are known not only to the wine geeks. Some Crus, such as Morgon, Fleurie and Moulin-a-Vent we find in wine lists all across the world. Its reputation is strong and I am personally a big fan of Beaujolais and follow many producers.

The point I am trying to make is that a handful of highly respected members of this forum who know some good addresses with decent Beaujolais Nouveau do not dismantle the stereotype. You keep it to yourself as we rarely see any reference to these wines in this forum. So when we will see more of these wines uncorked and praised here on wine-pages.com than we can start talking. But for now Beaujolais image is what it is...
 
Dear Bill,

Thank you for taking the time to explain. I do appreciate that as it is very helpful, indeed.

I agree with most part of what you've said. I am very well aware of the appellation rules and of course I distinguish between the Village Nouveau and the ordinary Beaujolais Nouveau. I am glad you haven't touched on Beaujolais Superieur which falls not too far from the Beaujolais Nouveau.

I must admit, I haven't come across decent BNs, so will follow you advice and hunt for a few from your list. I am always happy to discover new names and gain new experience. I have been a long time subscriber to your website and of course have read your 2020 review. Moreover Thom Blach kindly shared the link to it in the post above.

I just translated the image that the region can't get rid off. And the growers your refer to remain the drop in the ocean. Sad but true. And I won't speculate with German Riesling as Tom suggests. There is endless list of great names that have been around over a century as well as hundreds of winemakers that produce impressive wines. Unfortunately, Beaujolais isn't even close to the glory of German Riesling. Luckily, at least Beaujolais Crus are known not only to the wine geeks. Some Crus, such as Morgon, Fleurie and Moulin-a-Vent we find in wine lists all across the world. Its reputation is strong and I am personally a big fan of Beaujolais and follow many producers.

The point I am trying to make is that a handful of highly respected members of this forum who know some good addresses with decent Beaujolais Nouveau do not dismantle the stereotype. You keep it to yourself as we rarely see any reference to these wines in this forum. So when we will see more of these wines uncorked and praised here on wine-pages.com than we can start talking. But for now Beaujolais image is what it is...

I have tried to keep out of this discussion simply because, as an Englishman who has worked in the Beaujolais region for the past 45 years, I am passionate about it, it's people and its wines. Stas is understandably looking at the region as a whole, through the Beaujolais Nouveau prism and there is bound to be some serious distortion as a result. Beaujolais badly suffered from the success and subsequent over-production (i.e. yields) that the Nouveau of the the 1980's and 1990's brought with it. Marginal vineyard land was planted in the southern part of the Beaujolais to provide very large quantities of wine that the world markets lapped up. This also coincided with pan-European over production with vineyards drowning in fertilisers, pesticides, insecticides and fungicides, all driving up production and profitability. It wasn't just Beaujolais that was sucked into this vortex of greed but vineyards (great and lesser-known) across Europe.

The original version of Beaujolais Nouveau (Primeur) which began in the 1930's (although had its roots established in the mid-19th century), flourished in post-war France and was apparently delicious, being made from low-yielding vineyards that had not been replanted for decades. With extensive replanting and then increased production, quality was bound to decline and as with most things 'economic', supply increased dramatically, demand eventually dried up, prices fell and marginal vineyards were grubbed up. The generation of growers who went to the flourishing viticultural colleges, in the 1970's and 1980's, were indoctrinated with the ethos of high production = high profitability. They have largely retired now and their children are re-appraising things, turning their region into something they can be genuinely proud of.

However, it is important to realise that throughout the 1970'/80's/90's, there were a surprising number of domaines and producers who kept the region's quality flag flying. It's all too easy to remember the "vin de merde" and not the gems who are mostly still there today.

After all, "minds, like parachutes, only work when they are open".

Santé!
 
Stas - I'm glad you understand Beaujolais Superior - I wish I did! Fortunately, so little is registered these days that it's hardly even an anecdote...
Sorry I missed Tom's link - without an underline it's too easy to miss that the linked text has turned blue!
 
I was under the belief that the only additional requirement for Beaujolais Supérieur was a slightly higher alcohol level and that, as most Beaujolais already exceed that minimum, labeling was at the producer's discretion.

Or is there more to it?
 
I was under the belief that the only additional requirement for Beaujolais Supérieur was a slightly higher alcohol level and that, as most Beaujolais already exceed that minimum, labeling was at the producer's discretion.

Or is there more to it?
Yes, you're absolutely right. So Beaujolais Supérieur is pretty much the labeling choice. And the there are no restrictions where the grapes should come from as long as it is within Beaujolais AOP area, unlike the Villages where the geography is restricted to specific communes.
 
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